On Zombie Revivication

So I love the idea of having to pulp a zombie to keep it from getting back up, but when I play cataclysm I always come to hate having to pulp zombies.

To keep this organized, these are the aspects of the current zombie revivication system that I like:

  • You can decide to not finish off zombies if you are crushed with time or being chased.

  • I like the image of my survivor beating a downed zombie out of fear of it getting back up.

  • Zombie necromancers force me to strategize late game instead of just rushing like I usually do.

And the aspects I am not as much a fan of:

  • Completely killing a zombie with a gunshot is nearly impossible save from dealing an ungodly amount damage.

  • Base defenses can down zombies, but can never completely kill them (again, save from massive damage points) and requires players to constantly baby them.

  • Pulping a zombie after downing it with a ranged weapon requires you to walk to it every time, which can get annoying.

As you may have noticed, my main gripe with zombie revivication revolves around its affect on ranged combat.

So I have a couple of ideas on how this could be addressed:

  • Instead of becoming an “item” on death, zombies get the effect “Incapacitated” when below a certain % of their max health, where they can no longer take turns. (Alternatively, this “incapacitated” area could be tacked on to the back of the zombie’s current health to avoid unbalancing the health values)

  • When zombies have no hit pints left, they are defeated forever.

  • Zombies will slowly heal and reviving happens when they are above the aforementioned %.

  • Zombie necromancerss can now heal zombies, which allows them to bring other zombie’s health above the %, reviving them.

  • With this system, turrets will keep dealing damage to a zombie until it is completely dead.

  • Dealing enough damage to a zombie can just kill it outright.

  • The pulping function will be rendered useless, but zombies can still be “pulped” by damaging them when they are “incapacitated”, and pulping happens faster with higher damage tools.

This is not a fully formed idea yet, so tell me what you think!


You can also use NPCs to pulp for you, or use the fusion blaster rifle to set the corpses on fire from a distance.

Your system is better for gameplay but does make the game a tiny little bit easier.


I forget that you can bring along a companion to pulp for you, I usually play as a lone wolf. I need to try a run focused on npcs.

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The ranged pulping problem with base defense should lead to survivor colonies working out some kind of distance pulping system over time. I haven’t yet thought of anything cleverer than grapeshot, but I do think that big grapeshot launchers or catapults firing masonry and other squashing stuff, that you can install as defenses, would be an interesting and flavourful thing to see later on.

I remember someone making a turret that shot rebar rails as ammo, just burnt down houses to get more. By driving through a town I think he was able to insta gib them.

In any case, a bunch of those turrets and a manual flamethrower should do the trick

The game already kind of sort of maybe tracks headshots. I’d like to see good headshots on Zs automatically pulping them or setting some other flag that prevents them from reviving even if the damage itself was below pulp threshold. This way, landing good shots with even a moderately powerful firearm will prevent a substantial amount of pulping otherwise required. This is also in line with a lot of other zombie universes and video game logic where a headshot is the only sure way to down a zombie.


The health idea is good. Would need to still allow zombies occupying the same space.

There is a disconnect with weapons doing vastly different amounts of damage resulting in the same body that revives the same.

We should consider the limb impairment idea if the blob doesn’t regen bones and limbs/heads as fast as making bodies mobile again. Big weapons would cause limb damage that reduces pulp time and effort and impairs zombie abilities.

Maybe a type of “devolution” based on damage type/amount? zombies dropping into a form like the headless zombies or decaying zombies after taking massive damage but also having the chance to reevolve if given enough time to simulate the blobs ability to repair damaged hosts. When killed in the devolved state they could be considered auto pulped since they are still recovering from substantial damage already.


Just a note that you can damage zombie corpses by shooting the tile they’re on. It’s impractical since you don’t autotarget corpses, and you’ll destroy other items on the square too, but spraying the area with bullets does work.

Also I think the more damaged the corpse is the longer it takes to revive, but I haven’t code dived to see, nor tested that impression.

Yeah, having companions along to do the bitch work is handy dandy. You could carry a railgun and just turn average zeds into giblets.

I don’t know what else beyond the auto pulp/butcher function can do to ease the process more. I’d say if you’re clearing them out with a ranged weapon you can just “loot and scoot” if you don’t plan on hanging around for very long. It takes them quite some time to get up after all.

Blob Smob…brain destruction is the most logical and practical form of killing a zombie. Yes, I understand blob mumbo jumbo. But it is a form of disease/life form that exploits the synaptic/brain system to reanimate the dead to proliferate the disease to continue its life cycle.

I also consider the skeleton zombies to have the brain much in tact with enough marrow and muscle to be mobile. Not a pure structure of bone.

We have the perfect solution already and I only see a half baked blob argument keeping an otherwise decent game mechanic at bay.

Any thoughts?

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The skeletons in game are actually not skeletons. Their flesh is referenced to having ‘ossified’ tissue, which would imply that their meat is turning to bone. Because they don’t harvest for organs (last I checked, anyway, which was a while ago) it’s a bit confusing as to whether there’s still meat in them or not. So, the brain’s probably up for debate one way or the other.

…and I like a good debate :wink:

Though an interesting story element. The exploitation of the brain and the resounding success of destroying it to permanently put a zombie down is a popular form of destruction for a reason. Everything else is kinda saying it is magic.

Something, in some form, must tell the body what to do after all. I dig alien blobs. But I don’t accept the magic elements. Even fiction should have an order to it. That is why the best stories are made with the best structures. Such stories last decades, while the magical stuff falls into being forgotten or not as popular.

The one problem I see with leaving a downed zombie as a monster is it means they act as mostly impassable obstacles.
We can probably make them valid targets so you can aim at them while leaving them as corpses much more easily than sorting out leaving them as active monsters.

Canons… like shooting chain shots, slicing zombies in (near) half, or just normal cannon balls opening bowling ball sized holes in them.

If nothing else, blowing a Zombie’s head off should mean that it revives as a Headless.

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The blob uses what is present, but doesn’t require it. If there’s a brain to do the central motor processing it can use that, but it can also have processing distributed by the mutable goop that is reanimating and repurposing all its other tissues. There’s nothing magically irreplaceable about the brain when you don’t care about the vast majority of what was in the brain. It’s just as simple to replace as the heart, or any chunk of muscle.

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Are you suggesting you don’t need a brain to use your body? Perhaps you mean the blob act in place oof the brain to biochemically send signals to the muscles to activate them?

edit: I can think of the concept. But I do not agree with it. A blob as a virus would be better capable of using the brain to reanimate the host body . Rather than acting as a brain unto itself. Otherwise the blob being mobile and autonomous wouldn’t need a host at all.

Somewhat related. Ant zombie virus is a real thing. Google it. Gonna go nap. Cheers folks!

What about the zombie hollow? It’s literally a body filled with the goo and just controls it, walking all odd and just a sack of blob. When killed it just spews the content out.

The blob maybe dosent need anything, just a vessel to hold it and maintain shape?

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the blob technically doesn’t need a host, it can move around on its own it’s just not much of a threat/its very vulnerable without a body to puppeteer around.

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